Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Rosa Clara Friedlander Logie

Rosa Clara moved from the English Channel Islands to Sydney, Australia in 1849, when she was eleven years old. Two years later, LDS missionaries arrived, and her family were among their earliest converts. When her mom and stepfather decided to move to Melbourne to assist in the missionary efforts in that part of the country, 15 year old Rosa Clara stayed in Sydney, living first under the care of the mission president, and then with a married friend. She walked to church every Sunday, despite having to walk 12 miles to do so. She sang in the choir and distributed missionary tracts.

She married sailor Charles Logie, who joined the church a month before they married, when she was 16, and the following year they had their first child. With their baby in tow, Rosa Clara (then 17) and Charles set off by boat for the US to join the saints. Four weeks into their journey, on a dark night, their boat struck a coral reef. The captain ordered a sailor to swim to the coral reef and fasten a rope. He rigged a sling to slide over the rope, and decided to ferry the passengers to the reef until they had a better feel for their options, women first. Others were terrified, but Rosa Clara bravely volunteered to go first. She tied her baby to her husband and went to the captain. At that moment, her husband and baby were swept overboard, but fortunately, a sailor rescued them. She then climbed onto the captain's lap, and he pulled her over to the reef. She waited there for more passengers to arrive, in the pitch black, standing on sharp coral, chest-deep in the sea. All but five of the passengers survived the night.

In the morning, the sailors took the survivors to a small island. They waited for rescue for eight weeks, surviving on some salvaged ship provisions, turtle meat and eggs, and coconuts. Rosa Clara spent most of her time on the island very ill. When they finally made it to San Francisco, Elder George Q. Cannon presented her with a teapot to honor her bravery. After stints in different Nevada and Utah settlements, the Logies settled in Amercian Fork, Utah and raised twelve children. She stayed committed to the gospel throughout her life.

I love Rosa Clara's bravery in facing down the storm, but I also love that she stayed committed to the gospel through the every-day trials that her life presented in the coming decades. She didn't let her rough eight weeks jar her faith in God, and she didn't require more miraculous rescues to stay committed to her faith. She was faithful during trial and calm.


Rosa Clara: Bravery on the Pacific, by Marjorie B. Newton. Ensign, August 1990.

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